Archive - Mar 2011
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on March 29, 2011 - 09:58
I feel like I was just writing "I can't believe February is almost over!" and man - I can't believe March is almost over!
Just a Housekeeping note: If you do apply for a user account here at ComixTalk be sure to fill out the user profile fields with your webcomic and/or website. Something so I know you're not a bot. If you apply and don't hear back from the site in a day let me know directly.
MILESTONES: Lloyd Dangle announces the end of Troubletown this April. Not much revealed in the way of reasons but 22 years is a long time for any project. My first encounters with Troubletown were in the alt-weeklies and so even though it's on the web now too, that's still my primary frame of reference for it. Best wishes to Mr. Dangle and hopefully he has other projects in mind next.
BUSINESS: Interesting thought attributed to Kevin Kelly (from a conference that JOHO the Blog is live-blogging):
The Net is a giant copy machine. When copies are super-abundant, and worthless. So, you need to seel stuff that can’t be copied. 8 things that can’t be copied: immediacy, personalization, interpretation (study aids), authenticity (what the prof wants you to read), accessibility, embodiment (print copy), patronage (people want to pay creators), findability.”
Jameson Gardner writes in that his new webcomic Narssica follows the adventures of a lesbian superhero and her entourage of GLBT friends living in West Hollywood. It's written by Jameson Gardner, illustrated by Alan Foxwood and edited by Jon Lee.
Brian James writes in about his webcomic A Fine Example -- about pirates and greed and the economy.
Thom Pratt and Kambrea Pratt write in about their webcomic The Shadowbinders.
Denver Brubaker writes in about the first anniversary of his webcomic Tales of a Checkered Man. The webcomic is the story of an average hero who turns to a life of crime-fighting, despite his bad luck and acrophobia. Think Charlie Brown as a masked vigilante. Brubaker is also in the stages of planning a book which will collect the entire first year of the comic.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on March 22, 2011 - 09:45
So a lot of discussion yesterday about Chris Onstad's public posting (alternate url) on his de facto hiatus on Achewood. Also an interview of Onstad at Comics Alliance that perhaps shed a little more light on it. A lot of that discussion linked to this Neil Gaiman video which is about as good an explanation as any of why the artist doesn't owe you (yes I'm looking at you... and you in the back too) anything really. Most comments boiled down to we feel ya Chris and hope you get your groove back.
Kris Straub, who is one of the most reflective folks in webcomics, posted another take on things in his blog and while his post is as much about himself as it could be about Onstad, it's interesting reading. Straub has not really tied himself to the kind of one ongoing series that some webcomic artists have (like Onstad so far) in the tradition of the newspaper ideal (aka Schulzian). Instead he's had two major projects (Checkerboard Nightmare and Starslip) which while sharing a sense of humor had very different subject matter and approaches; lots of collaborations; and a string of smaller comics, including one (F Chord) that I really wish he had stuck with (but also equally applicable here - this Neil Gaiman video).
Peoples ought to do what they want to do and I don't pretend to stand on high delivering knowledge. But what I've seen is that there is still a bit too much devotion to that old Schulzian ideal of the one strip forever. Taking chances, changing up work, rebooting work, radically shifting and experimenting -- there's a lot to gain from this as a creator in terms of artistic growth and just finding new audiences. While there is always the risk of a mistep (either creatively or commercially or both) there are equal risks to trying to plow the same road forever.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on March 21, 2011 - 09:30
Have I mentioned the ComixTalk facebook page in awhile? If you're on FB you can catch up with just about all of ComixTalk through our page there.
HYPE: Lauren Davis writes about a new anthology called A Comic Book Guide to the Mission. It's got a cover from Chuck Whelon (see above)! and work from a bunch of artists local to San Francisco, CA. There's a review here.
INTERVIEW: An interview with Vanessa Davis (and pictures of her work space).
HYPE: I have often expressed a fondness for the BLOGGER character in Gordon's MULTIPLEX comic. A recent plot thread has main character Jason working for him and today's callback punchline made my morning (so far!). (NOTE: last panel of today is a callback to a line from the blogger's first appearance)
CODE: A beta release of a new version of MangaPress is out. Haven't used MangaPress but it's another way to use Wordpress for webcomics.
IRONCAT: El Santo comments on a recent blog post about burnout by Chris Onstad of Achewood. Has it really been 9 years of Achewood? Wow!
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on March 16, 2011 - 10:31
D.J. Coffman tweeted about this effort to raise money for Japan, currently suffering from just a catastrophic series of calamities. Please go check it out and if others have tips on how to provide help to Japan please add those in the comments. Thanks!
Tsunamis and now a Nuclear emergency, Japan is facing one of the worst catastrophes in recorded history. Entire towns have been wiped out. There’s a food shortage and people have no place to go. What can we do from so far away?
Dear webcomic creators, this Friday, March 15th 2011, we’re urging you to mention the following links either in your comic or on your comic’s blog. Whether you have 10 readers or 10,000 readers, we as webcomic creators are fortunate to have an audience that we can encourage to help donate in ways that will directly aid the people of Japan. Here are the two key places you should mention in your comic or on your comic’s blog:
- http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.html – This link is for monetary donations. It is a google page made by the Red Cross in Japan. The lowest people can donate is 100 yen which is roughly $2 and change.Every little bit counts.
- www.2hj.org – Second Harvest is an organization in Japan where people can ship supplies that will be on the ground DIRECTLY to the people who need them. Take a look at the list of supplies at the link. You might consider gathering up a big box of supplies and having a few friends pitch in for shipping to Japan. They need raw supplies more than money at this time.
Anyone who participates in this, please comment here and leave your link or send us an email with a link to your “Comics For Japan” strip. If you can’t make the deadline this week, we’re planning on doing a collected post of comics on every Friday. Please help!
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on March 15, 2011 - 09:39
So first things first. As part of research for a secret, I-may-not-even-get-off-my-butt-and-build-it project I've been looking for reviews and reviewers of webcomics. Scratch that -- reviews and reviewers of any comics that are also available on the web (so I'm counting reviews of book collections of webcomics too). There's not as much as I thought, unless I'm just not doing a good job of looking. I've probably reviewed more books than digital comics recently so I'm not helping things much myself but if you have a source for reviews of webcomics you like please let me know, I'd like to check it out.
INTERVIEW: CBR has a great interview with Richard Thompson of the wonderful comic strip Cul De Sac. It's a good introduction to the strip.
HYPE: It's another promote-your-webcomic thread at Warren Ellis' Whitechapel forum. Always a good place to find new comics worth checking out..
WEBCOMICS: Matt Seneca's essay on webcomics compares the first generation of web-native comic artists to similar shifts in comic history (strip to pamphlet, pamphlet to graphic novel) and looks at Dash Shaw's BodyWorld and Blaise Larmee's 2001 as examples of webcomic growth.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on March 14, 2011 - 21:51
• Hark! A Vagrant! by Kate Beaton
• Freak Angels by Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield
• Questionable Content by Jeph Jaques
• Axe Cop by Malachai and Ethan Nicolle
• xkcd by Randall Munroe
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on March 14, 2011 - 09:31
Hope you had a good weekend. Be sure to check out Dave Kellett's talk on comics from fall of last year (see the post below this one). I'd also recommend chekcing out an interesting post Derik Badman has up at the Panelists on what makes a great comic (hint: a great story).
HYPE: Check out this Hero initiative JLA cover art by Dean Haspiel. That looks great! Has Haspiel ever drawn the big three of DC or any of the X-books from Marvel?
MILESTONES: Conny Van Ehlsing ("the world's most monster-hunting seven-year-old") turns ten this month. In March, 2001, she had her first public appearance as a supporting character to superhero RECEPTION MAN, in a German fanzine called PLOP. Immediately after that, Max Vaehling started Conny's own series, which has been running for four years now, with over 200 installments. To celebrate, Max invited friends from Germany's comics and webcomics scene to contribute guest comics all month.
MARKETING: Wow, well it's more than 10 years old, but Mike Rhode's essay on the commercialization of comics is still pretty interesting. Take a look at part 1 on his blog, ComicsDC.
John writes in about his webcomic, Seven Years in Dog-Land -- a literary fantasy set in a gritty and cruel kingdom of dogs. It is an exploration of humans’ relationship nature and the human condition itself:
When Alice runs away from home to look for her lost dog, little she knows that she may never return. She stumbles upon the kingdom of Dog-Land, an alternate world where dogs are the masters, and humans, their pets. Under the crimson sky of this misshapen realm, the sprightly ten-year-old begins her true journey – of discovering what it truly means to be human – as she seeks a way back to our world.
Terry LaBan writes about his webcomic Muktuk Wolfsbreath, Hard Boiled Shaman!:
The mean streets of LA have nothing on the frigid forests of Siberia when it comes to danger, and Muktuk Wolfsbreath needs all his shamanic power s to deal with the wicked women, thuggish tribesman, gods, demons and animal spirits he encounters as he tries to cure his clients of whatever ails them. A unique mashup of Siberian mythology and classic detective fiction, Muktuk Wolfsbreath takes readers on a wildly entertaining, hallucinogenic journey to heaven, hell and the dark secrets that lurk behind the skin covers of reindeer herder’s tents.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on March 13, 2011 - 10:41
I saw that Zach has linked to a video of Dave Kellett's presentation on comics at Ohio University last year. IT IS REALLY GOOD. It's a sharp, funny distillation of a lot of learning from this decade about comics and being an independent creator. (I've embedded the first of five parts - be sure to watch all 5)
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on March 10, 2011 - 11:22
Are you all fans of Calamity Jon Morris' CORNERED blog? Well I am and I took a shot at submitting a few entries of my own which Jon is kindly running. My Captain America corner went up on Tuesday and sometime today my "Spiderman Versus Saturday Night Live" corner will be up. Jon has been doing a series of Marvel characters in this cute, icon-ized style that I really love. Anyhow check it out!
LEGAL BEAGLE: Bleeding Cool posts Stan Lee's deposition in the Marvel Vs. Kirby Family lawsuit. Fascinating (Stan Lee view of) history.
SPIDER CENTS: I think I tweeted this yesterday - Ward Sutton's comic in the Village Voice on the ill-fated Spiderman broadway musical is pretty funny.
Dr. McDeadpool: I saw this tweeted around yesterday and El Santo sums up the news that Christopher Hastings of Dr. McNinja will be writing for the Marvel book Deadpool.
THE UNSINKABLE MATILDA: Aaron Renier posts a comic based on Roald Dahl's Matilda for Unshelved's Book Club. It's funny with a point - a bit of an update with some Clockwork Orange thrown in.
MILESTONES: Andrew Rothery writes that next Monday, March 14th, is the 10 year anniversary of his webcomic TRU-Life Adventures. It is a mashup of retail humor mixed with sci-fi adventure, making it a little like NBC's show Chuck (just replace spies with time travel, and the thinly disguised Best Buy with a thinly disguised Toys R Us). It's been updated daily since 2005, and in color since the summer of 2009.
HYPE: Comic Alliance spotlights Romantically Apocalyptic by Vitaly S. Alexius, describing it as "a genuinely hilarious comedy about life after the end of the world, the hopelessly imbecilic dictator who destroyed the Earth, and the one surviving minion he has left to command and irritate." The art is almost Alex Ross-ian in its detail and texture.
NOT (ENTIRELY) WEBCOMICS: I had no idea that the creators of the iphone videogame Angry Birds, was also the creator of the now on hiatus August Jessorwebcomic. Robot6 flags a Wired story on the creators of Angry Birds that mentions the August Jessor connection in passing. I had forgotten about August Jessor but I liked it during its run.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on March 6, 2011 - 00:51
I guess I've reviewed my share of Bone books now. After releasing just about every bit of Bone comics material by the end of last year, Scholastic is now publishing a text novel series written by Tom Sniegoski with illustration from creator Jeff Smith. Sniegoski wrote some of the comics in last year's collection, Bone: Tall Tales so he's not a newcomer to this world. Still it's a leap from collaborating with the creator of a comic on a comic to taking on writing Bone: Quest for the Spark - a text novel (the first in a planned trilogy) based in the Bone universe.